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History of Basketball in Ireland

Basketball is not really a relatively new sport in Ireland. The truth is basketball was already being played In Ireland in the early 1920’s.

This was introduced by Major Sergeant Doogan as a new sport in the Army. It was first considered as a supplementary gym exercise for army in training before it had gained its popularity and later then ad its own rights and rules during the game. From then on, basketball was still a part of the daily routines in the army.

In the year 1925, two strong championships happened in Curragh. This gave way too many aspiring Irish to join and give it a shot for they wanted to learn how to play the game. As the year passed by, basketball began to gain more fame inside and out of the army. And in the year 1945, the very first basketball club was structured in the University of Dublin. Meanwhile, the very first Intervarsity Competition happened in the year 1946.

Also in the year 1945, the Amateur Basketball Association of Ireland or ABAI was formally introduced to the people. The introduction was very successful. In the year 1947, Irish Basketball finally was affiliated with the FIBA or the Federation of International Basketball Association.

From that time on, basketball was firmly recognized and established as a sport in Ireland. In that same year, the Dublin County Board which is the first are board was structured and on the following year, 1948 the very first Leinster Championship tournament was held.

In the year 1948, Ireland decided to send their formal representative which is the Irish Basketball Team to join in the 1948 Olympics. The World War II had made a very big effect in the 1948 Olympics because many competitors were not able to join. This was the first ever entry Ireland in the Olympics, but sadly, the country was not able to make it thus, they just landed on the lower ranks.

In the year 1971, the first Men’s National league was introduced to the mass media whereas the Women’s National Basketball Leagues began to surface in the year 1980. On the same year, the original name of Ireland’s basketball ABAI was changed to Irish Basketball Association or IBA. The Irish Basketball had celebrated their 5oth anniversary in the year 1997 whereas; former members of the ABAI who attended the 1948 Olympics were present to give honour to the founders of the Ireland basketball association.

In the new era of Basketball in Ireland, the Ireland Basketball Association or IBA was re-structured and was changed to its new name which is Basketball Ireland or BI.

BI’s main focus is to heighten the level of participation of Ireland and give opportunity to aspiring Irish by providing professionally managed courses, organizing beneficial competitions and services to the basketball community. To make it more productive, BI has opened their doors for volunteer members to help the officiating members in governing its overall policy.

Basketball is undoubtedly the biggest sport in Ireland whereas a lot of Irish that are already playing basketball although out the country. With the optimism of the BI, it is not that far to say that the future of Irish basketball will also have positive results.

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